Tell Me, Tree by Gail Gibbons Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'Tell Me, Tree' is a book by Gail Gibbons that gives loads of information about trees. Use the activities below to help students sort that information and make connections that will help them learn all they can from this book.

Tell Me, Tree

Tell Me, Tree is an informational book written by Gail Gibbons. It clearly explains many different facts about trees including the different kinds of trees, their purpose, and how trees reproduce. The activities below have been created for use after reading Tell Me, Tree to students. Intended for use with elementary learners, these activities can be used to help students truly connect with all that is going on in this book.

Author's Purpose

Materials: writing paper, pencils

  • Begin with a quick review of the different purposes authors have for writing (to persuade, to entertain, to inform).
  • Talk about the author's purpose for this book. What can help you determine the author's purpose?
  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Give each group writing paper and a pencil.
  • Instruct each group to write a title at the top of their paper by copying and completing this sentence:
    • ''The author's purpose for Tell Me, Tree was to ... ''
  • Next, instruct each group to write five sentences that prove that this is the author's purpose.
  • Walk around as students write to be sure they are using complete sentences and that they understand how to prove author's purpose.
  • Once finished, have each group read their sentences to the class. Allow for discussion if needed.

How Does a Tree Help?

Materials: drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils

  • Begin with a brief review of the book and talk about all of the ways we use trees.
  • As you discuss, make a list of these on the board. Consider ideas such as:
    • Home for animals
    • Provides shade
    • Wood for building
    • Place to hang a swing
    • Fruits to eat
    • Other ideas generated by students (or remembered from the book)
  • Give each student a piece of drawing paper and some crayons or colored pencils.
  • Instruct each student to divide their paper into three equal sections (folding twice like a letter will help accomplish this task). Have the student label the sections 'limbs and branches' (you can introduce the word 'canopy' here if you wish), 'trunk', and 'roots'. Have the student draw a tree putting each section of the tree in the properly labeled section of the paper. Encourage them to leave some space for writing in each section.
  • Have students write the items from the board placing them in the section they come from. For example, 'wood for building' would go in the 'trunk' section. Encourage the use of complete sentences. (You might not have a lot of sentences listed under 'roots').
  • Once finished, have students share their work with the rest of the class.

Make a Collage

Materials: plastic grocery bags, card stock, glue

Additional materials dependent on location: This activity requires students to be able to gather tree related materials. If this is not possible because of your location, the teacher will need to gather these materials ahead of time and bring them for use with the activity.

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